Smoked Tri Tip

Smoked Tri Tip

Last fall we were in Northern California visiting some dear friends. As is not at all uncommon when hanging out with me, we got onto the topic of food and eventually ended up talking BBQ. Our friends are good Southerners too, but being in California, they had been introduced to smoked tri tip which is evidently slow cooked like a brisket is in Texas. I’d never even heard of a smoked tri tip, so when all of a sudden it appeared at my Costco, I just had to try it out.

Tri tip is a cut of beef that definitely needs the low and slow approach like many others do. It gets its name due to its triangular shape and is full of a whole lot of flavor because it is very nicely marbled. It’s also a lot less expensive! Try to do a smoked tri tip steak the next time you have some time and want to do something different.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 10 min; Cook Time – 45 minutes – 1 hour


1 tri tip steak

Dry Rub

BBQ Sauce

Wood chips (I like cherry wood for this one but any will do)

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

I use a gas grill sometimes so I use a smoke box to make the smoke.

Preparing Smoked Tri Tip:

Make your dry rub (or use what you have in your spice drawer) and sprinkle liberally all over the meet. Rub it in and let it marinate in that for an hour to overnight. Remove from fridge about 30 minutes before grilling.

Soak your wood chips in water.

Start your grill over medium heat and prepare for indirect heat. If a gas grill, then just start one side of the grill. For a charcoal grill, you’ll prepare the coals to one side of the grill. Add your wood chips when the grill is ready. If you are using a smoke box as linked in the special equipment section above, just put that on top of the direct heat.smoked tri tip

When the grill is ready, add your tri tip to the direct heat for about 7 minutes per side then move to the indirect heat. It will probably take 20 minutes per side to complete it. Just keep the lid down as much as possible. In the last 5 minutes, add the BBQ sauce if desired just to let it caramelize.

Let the meat rest on the carving board for about 10 minutes and then slice thinly against the grain and on the bias. Check out our video on how to do that.

Important Tips:

Don’t try and rush this one, you’ll only be rewarded with meat that tastes like shoe leather.

Meal Ideas:

I served this with hasselback potatoes and sautéed greens.
how to make hasselback potatoessauteed greens

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